If you are struggling financially and are considering filing for bankruptcy, you are most likely overwhelmed by all the options you have found during your research. That’s because bankruptcy is a very complicated process; there are multiple types of bankruptcy (these are called chapters), and you must meet certain qualifications in order to file in Littleton, Aurora, and Centennial. There is an enormous amount of paperwork to compile and fill out for each chapter, and the many different rules and time windows can be overwhelming. It’s difficult to write a blog titled “how to file for bankruptcy,” because there is so much involved in the bankruptcy process.
Can I File for Bankruptcy On My Own?
You wouldn’t hire a carpenter to perform surgery, or a surgeon to build your house, would you?
A common question people ask is “can I file for bankruptcy on my own?” This is usually why they search for “how to file for bankruptcy” online. My answer to this question is: “Yes, you can file on your own. But, do you really want to?” Stop and consider whether you would hire a professional surgeon to perform your knee surgery which is crucial to your way of life, or a carpenter. The carpenter might be a great person. But, he’s not a surgeon. You may be an extremely competent, skilled person, but you most likely don’t have a thorough understanding of the complexities of the bankruptcy code. If you are going to file for bankruptcy, you are looking to get a fresh start. A skilled bankruptcy lawyer will have the knowledge and expertise you need in order to get the best fresh start possible. In fact, an experienced attorney will most likely save you money in the end because of their knowledge of obscure exemptions which can be used in your filing. Let’s look at what the United States Bankruptcy Court has to say about filing for bankruptcy.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Advises Against Filing On Your Own
Because I am a bankruptcy lawyer in Highlands Ranch, Parker, and Lone Tree, people are often dubious of my counsel to hire an attorney for their bankruptcy filing. Obviously, I have a vested interest in your decision to file on your own or not. But, don’t take it from me – the United States Bankruptcy Court also advises people against filing on their own:
“It is very important that a bankruptcy case be filed and handled correctly. The rules are very technical, and a misstep may affect a debtor’s rights. For example, a debtor whose case is dismissed for failure to file a required document, such as a credit counseling certificate, may lose the right to file another case or lose protections in a later case, including the benefit of the automatic stay. Bankruptcy has long-term financial and legal consequences – hiring a competent attorney is strongly recommended.”
You might wonder exactly why the U.S. Bankruptcy Court would be so adamant that debtors work with a professional bankruptcy lawyer. They elaborate on this later:
“Debtors must list all property and debts in their bankruptcy schedules. If a debt is not listed, it is possible the debt will not be discharged…the judge can also deny the discharge of all debts if a debtor does something dishonest in connection with the bankruptcy cause, such as destroying or hiding property, falsifying records, or lying. Individual bankruptcy cases are randomly audited to determine the accuracy, truthfulness, and completeness of the information that the debtor is required to provide…pro se litigants, whether debtor or creditor, are expected to follow the rules that govern procedures in the federal courts. Pro se litigants should be familiar with the United States Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and the local rules of the court in which the case is filed.”
Why Working with a Bankruptcy Lawyer is Essential
As you can see, there are many complexities to filing for bankruptcy in Colorado. The bankruptcy code is complex, and a mistake could result in criminal charges (if the court believes you purposely hid assets), or the loss of the ability to file for bankruptcy at all. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, the last thing you need is stress about the one thing in your life that will relieve your stress. Bankruptcy’s automatic stay will make it illegal for creditors to harass you, and the wage garnishments will cease. Take control of your financial future by working with a skilled bankruptcy lawyer to get the best fresh start possible.
If you’re trying to figure out how to file for bankruptcy, don’t hesitate to contact experienced Colorado bankruptcy lawyer Barry Arrington for a free consultation at 303-205-7870. He will help you get the best fresh start possible.